Spiritual refinement for redressal of sorrows
September 5, 2013 Comments Off on Spiritual refinement for redressal of sorrows
Dear soul, our mind is a complex product evolved by Nature. Before you can think of your mind’s formation and birth, it is there already with you. Far from being inert the mind is sentient in every way, generating in us a large variety of emotions, sentiments, feelings and responses. If it were not doing so, it would not have been the thing which Nature intends it to be! The first part of viveka consists in understanding the mind like this. The next part lies in trying to refine and sublimate the complexity of the mind on spiritual lines, thereby enabling us to remain hopeful and stable as long as we remain embodied in the world, that is till the body falls by itself.
What is the course of refinement I am speaking of? Certainly it is not a process of denial, mutilation or annihilation. Whatever is there in the mind should be recognized, understood first. Then a process of gradual sublimation and building up must be attempted.
In building up the mind healthily there is a great role for the emotions to play constantly. To love, to be resentful, to fear – these are the primary and consistent urges of the mind. The absence of any of these will mean the inoperativeness or inertness of the mind to that extent. In other words, the measure of absence (of these primary urges) will imply a corresponding measure of death, or at least stuntedness for the mind. I will not approve of any such absence or dearth to breed in the matter of building up the mind spiritually. What is then the true purpose before us?
A fully healthy mind must be able to react to joyful situations in joyous manner, frightening situations in a fearful manner and saddening situations in a sorrowful manner. If it is able to do so every time a situation arises, with that also will flow enrichment proportionately. Enrichment is as much by loving and joy, as by disapprovals and resentment, as by sorrowing and sympathy. Joy, sorrow and fear, all these are equally the creations and bounties of Nature. They alike form the full gift of the Creator to mankind. You should first and last know that all these together constitute mind’s enrichment, and then with such knowledge give vent to the emotions whenever each of them is evoked from time to time, instance to instance.
If we draw a line between any one and others, or one and its opposite, thereby knowingly or unknowingly struggling hard to foster one emotion (say joy) and eliminate another, or the other two (say sadness and fear), it will be to cause a grave error. The mind which reacts to the joyous with joy must also react with sadness to the sorrowful. Where lies refinement then, you may ask.
Refinement’s role is thus in enabling the mind to give vent to each emotion whenever it is called for and yet remain composed and collected. Beneath the surface of emotions, you must find the depth of composure to which your wisdom can be grounded.
The difference between the process of denial and the process of sublimation through the wise course of guarded expression (knowingly giving vent to the emotions, seeking enrichment in the process) is subtle, no doubt, but it is extremely great.
When a man is rowing a boat, does he try to stop the waves coming on the surface of the water? He glides through them skillfully with pleasure by rowing properly. Once you grasp this basic truth, suggestion, it must instantly give you a clue to the redressal of sorrows whenever they try to assail the mind.
– Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[An excerpt from Poojya Swamiji’s correspondance with a seeker that was published in the book “Be What You Are”. This publication is available as an ebook for download from the Ashram website http://www.SwamiBhoomanandaTirtha.org]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012